How do I get public exposure for my invention?
July 23, 2007 9:33 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas on how to get my patent pending invention known to the public besides my website? This invention is for home improvement/decorating, no other product is available to the public that even comes close to what I have and it resolves a problem that all most every home uses for a window treatment. I am "financially challenged" so money is a huge issue. I welcome all replies!
posted by Little to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If you are/were Australia, you could submit it for consideration by the New Inventors show. "Handyman" type inventions seem to do quite well. Maybe there are similar shows in other places?
posted by robcorr at 9:42 PM on July 23, 2007


Try for newspaper coverage in your local/regional papers where the local inventor angle will make it more interesting.

Look for small independent retailers/design stores/ home decorating consultants and offer it to them for resale to their customers.
posted by metahawk at 10:00 PM on July 23, 2007


Unfortunately I'm in the US. I saw a show the other night here in the US, "American Inventor" but have no idea how to get info for this type of submission. Maybe I should move to Australia!
posted by Little at 10:02 PM on July 23, 2007


I'd go to Discovery.com and look at the various shows on their channels. They usually have submission information.

Also, learn how to write a press release and submit it everywhere...local and national publications.
posted by radioamy at 10:48 PM on July 23, 2007


Get bloggers to use it. There's a huge community over at www.houseblogs.net ... contact a few of them to see if they'd like to review your product. Some may consider it un-ethical for you to *demand* that they write anything about it, but most will definitely write about it if they have the chance.
posted by SpecialK at 10:52 PM on July 23, 2007


(Note: the above is risky, because if they DON'T like it or it sucks they may write negatively about it. But if you can give them free samples or a loaner... it's just the price of postage and the cost of the product, pretty cheap.)
posted by SpecialK at 10:53 PM on July 23, 2007


check if the local SCORE association can help (retired executives who give free biz advice).
posted by rmm at 11:17 PM on July 23, 2007


If the show you're thinking of is American Inventor, it sounds like they had Idol-style auditions and you've missed the deadline for this season.
posted by robcorr at 12:34 AM on July 24, 2007


Website could stand proof editing, too.
posted by flabdablet at 5:39 AM on July 24, 2007


Um, this is a totally valid question ("How do I get exposure?") of interest to many small business people.

I'd second giving some freebies to subject-bloggers, with the understanding that they'll be honest. Also, the local papers here (Chicago Trib) have a regular home&garden section where they do tips and gadgets. A polite request and a free sample couldn't hurt. You could also try the independent home/decor shops in your area. Even the chains' local managers might be willing to strike a deal if they personally think that the product is cool.

Do you know anyone is real estate who likes you product? If you get some put in a few model homes/condos/apartments (with business cards attached), a lot of people walk through those and might like what they see.

Finally, yes, do some work on the web page. If nothing else, I'd want better pictures. Think about the kind of room or setting that you think is really helped by you product and set up a before and after in there. You'll want to consult someone who knows their interior design (maybe not a professional), and definitely an actual photographer. You want nice, professional photos to show to everyone you meet, especially in the contacts that we're suggesting you make.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:14 AM on July 24, 2007


Send out press releases to publications specializing in decor, design, and other home-related or do-it-yourself type publications. This could be everything from your local paper's saturday edition, to magazines and design websites. You could also rent a booth at various consumer and trade oriented home shows or design shows.

You also might want to keep in mind that vertical blinds are very stylish right now. Perhaps you might get some help with your styling and photography, to at least improve the style of your photographic sample?
posted by Kololo at 8:04 AM on July 24, 2007


Well, you could post it to projects and follow up a week or two later with a question about it.

With luck, you can get a MeTa post about it.

Might I also suggest writing a song about it?

And possibly hiring a PR person?

That might help you publicize it.
posted by dersins at 9:24 AM on July 24, 2007


You're basically a one-product small business. ebay is a cheap place for one-product small businesses to market products, believe it or not.

Think about it: Everybody using the search engine on ebay is there to spend money. Buy some auction listings (or go fixed-price "buy it now," if you don't want the grief of auctions), and your merchandise will be showing up in the search results of people looking for vertical blinds. It's a way to market to (probably bargin-huntng) people who don't even know your product exists.

Given your product, at this stage of the game, "bargin-hunters who don't know your invention exists" would seem to be your target demographic. If you're lucky, some of those ebayers will give you some free buzz on message boards or blogs.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 11:26 AM on July 24, 2007


Wow! Thank you to all who gave me suggestions, I know I'm on a journey here that will take time and patience, thank you again!
posted by Little at 1:49 PM on July 24, 2007


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